People not washing hands...how would you handle this? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 01-27-2010, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I ran in an awkward situation this evening that I'm not sure how to handle. We had dinner at my inlaws, and I was in a room breastfeeding our 3 month old when I heard my FIL use the washroom (it's right next to the room I was in) and walk out without washing his hands. I clearly know this because I always feed in that same room and I happen to know the tap is very loud in that washroom.
He handles our baby alot, he loves holding her. Now I just feel weird.

DH and I have this understanding that I deal with my parents and he deals with his if we ever have problems or issues with anything. But how can DH even mention this to his dad without it seeming sooo weird..."By the way my wife evesdrops on you using the washroom and noticed you don't wash your hands after using the toilet." sounds waaaay to awkward a conversation!
To make matters worse, things are a little tense between DH and I because he feels that I'm constantly nagging or critizising everything he does. (I have to admit I have been a little rough with conversations I've had with him, but that's another story altogether...) I just think he may not take my concerns very seriously or think that now I'm just picking on his family. (Which I'm not)

Any ideas on how you could handle this?
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#2 of 21 Old 01-27-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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I never really policed handwashing around my babies. I guess not washing one's hands after peeing is kinda gross, but I bathe my kids once a day so I don't see the harm really. I have no idea how you'd raise this issue without really embarrassing your FIL.

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#3 of 21 Old 01-27-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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Well, urine is sterile and there aren't many fecal born parasites in first world countries, so it actually isn't all that dangerous. Covering our mouths when we cough is probably more of an indicator of handwashing needs, but that's not considered as big a deal. I think I would let it go, but I'm pretty laize faire about germs. I really think the ick factor is more cultural than anything serious to worry about in this case. Hope that puts your mind to rest.

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#4 of 21 Old 01-27-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I'm not that freaked out about this kind of stuff... maybe he can pee without getting pee on his hands? My son certainly has the knack of peeing in a urinal with his hands behind his back - (we wash anyway as a good habit)

But, it upsets you.. so....

"hey FIL, I bought this new soap that smells like _______... wanna try it out?"

(PS, go out and buy some cool soap)
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#5 of 21 Old 01-27-2010, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yea...I guess I should mention that I'm really not a germophobe or one who insists that all that touch my baby wash their hands before. I'm more of the "let her build a strong immune system" school of thought. But like you said, not washing after using the washroom is kinda my limit!
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#6 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Both my FIL and stepFIL also do not wash up after using the bathroom. So gross and unhygienic.

I just point blank ask them, "Are your hands clean? If not please wash them."

They have never complained and they always wash up.

My job is to protect my baby, not coddle the feelings of old men or anyone else who refuse to follow the rules of proper hygiene.

i am not a germaphobe, but how do i know if one them happens to be in the middle of a herpes flare or something? Or maybe they have a bladder infection? Or worse?

Handwashing after urinating or defecating is the most basic act of proper hygiene and it's disrespectful of people not to do it, not to mention just plain gross.
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#7 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I always thought it was normal for men not to wash their hands after having a wee.....Maybe its just the men i know

Mummy to T 06/04, L 08/06, R 08/09
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#8 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Although it may not be dangerous to the baby, it is sort of icky. I have a 2.5 week old, so it is easier for me to instill a handwashing policy, then it is for you at 3 months, but you could perhaps buy a bottle of hand sanitizer and just say:

"I hear there is something going around."

And insist that everyone use the hand sanitizer or go wash their hands before touching the baby.

This way you don't single anyone out, your DH doesn't have to get involved or feel picked on, and you feel that your need for sanitary hands around your baby is being met as well.

on a side note: Your dh might not take your feelings about protecting the baby seriously. I know mine doesn't have the same degree of intensity for protecting the baby as I do...for example, he thinks it is perfectly fine to leave our newborn baby on the other end of an aisle in the grocery store (which is roughly the length of one city block) as long as he can "still see the cart", and he rolls his eyes at me when I shout at him like he is possibly the biggest moron I have ever met.

I just don't think they are wired to care about the same things, and no amount of yelling or harsh words seems to make a difference. At the end of the day, it is better to have your need met than to wait for someone else to understand why you need that and take the time to meet it for you, ya know? Though lord knows it would feel better if our co-parents could without having to resort to shouting.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#9 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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With our first apartment, how it was laid out, it was OBVIOUS when someone used the bathroom and didn't wash their hands to everyone sitting in the living room. I KNEW that both of my in-laws didn't wash their hands. To me, that is absolutely disgusting. But honestly, it was when my MIL came at my newborn after handling raw chicken and not washing her hands, then refusing to wash her hands that I drew the line.

She still refused, and I refused to relinquish the baby. Sorry. My baby, my rules. Everyone washes their hands before touching - my parents, his parents, me, my dh, everyone.
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#10 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Raw chicken?! She wouldn't wash her hands after touching raw sallomenella encrusted hormone ridden RAW CHICKEN!?!

EWWWWWW, for her own safety as well, for everyone's sake....ewwwwww! :Puke

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#11 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Nope, she refused to wash her hands. So she didn't get to hold the baby. So then FIL refused to wash his hands too, and didn't get to hold the baby, spouting off some VERY choice words in the conversation (along the lines of, "I don't have to wash my hand to hold my own g-d granddaughter") DH started to waffle, I held firm. She was TWO DAYS OLD. It's common sense.

They haven't seen the kids since 2000, haven't ever met our two youngest. It's very sad, they are very toxic people. None of their three children have a relationship with them.
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#12 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FiveLittleMonkeys View Post
...they are very toxic people...
And no wonder! They keep touching raw meat and not washing their hands...they probably have worms which has made them very cranky and unpleasant to be around for the last god knows how many years!

That is so gross.

I don't mean to make light of it, but seriously..."I don't have to wash my hands to hold my own GD grandaughter?"

ummmmmm, yeah actually, you do!

And ya know what? You're not allowed to wipe your nose on her head, or cough into her mouth, or take her to touch the red slider turtles at the pet store, or feed her raw pork and eggs either. Being 1/4 her genetic make up does not actually buy you the right to make her sick, you weirdo!

I am sorry...that really is so sad.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#13 of 21 Old 01-28-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Oh my gosh. I'm cracking up.
People are amazing.

I am not a germaphobe, but i still think it's gross to not wash hands after using the restroom.
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#14 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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As a general rule, I enforce handwashing to anyone before they get to hold my baby, regardless of whether they just went pee or not..

Happy mama to Asia born 07/15
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#15 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 04:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
on a side note: Your dh might not take your feelings about protecting the baby seriously. I know mine doesn't have the same degree of intensity for protecting the baby as I do...for example, he thinks it is perfectly fine to leave our newborn baby on the other end of an aisle in the grocery store (which is roughly the length of one city block) as long as he can "still see the cart", and he rolls his eyes at me when I shout at him like he is possibly the biggest moron I have ever met.

I just don't think they are wired to care about the same things, and no amount of yelling or harsh words seems to make a difference. At the end of the day, it is better to have your need met than to wait for someone else to understand why you need that and take the time to meet it for you, ya know? Though lord knows it would feel better if our co-parents could without having to resort to shouting.


I have the EXACT same feeling. It's not that I'm paranoid or germaphobic. Some things seem OBVIOUS to me do not occur at all to DH or other people. DH says "she's fine" sooooooo many times I just do things myself rather than have yet another, "don't you think she should wear more than one tee shirt when it's 49 degrees outside and pouring rain?" - "naw, she's fine, we are just walking across a parking lot and we will be indoors" conversation. Now I just say, sweetie pie, mommy will put a jacket on you while daddy grabs mommy's bag, PERIOD! Geesh!

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#16 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 04:36 AM
 
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The good news is urine is sterile.

I don't know, not much you can do without creating a situation. Maybe put a sign up in the washroom? A sanitizer dispenser smack dab next to the light switch?

Mom to DD Nov 2009,
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#17 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 04:36 AM
 
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Sorry OP, didn't mean to hijack the post.

As far as the hygiene, I would do something general, like another person said, hear something is going around, or now we keep a giant pump of hand sanitizer in the living room, why don't we ALL try it approach. I personally won't go with the whole hubby please tell your dad to wash hands in the bathroom route. Just too weird.

Also you can always blame your pediatrician (mine told me to!) if you feel you need a borrowed authority to enforce something on your ILs. Just say at your last dr visit, ped said to be vigilant about germs, etc.

enjoying motherhood way more than science:
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#18 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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Also, RAW CHICKEN?!? Seriously?

Mom to DD Nov 2009,
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#19 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 06:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evening start View Post
Well, urine is sterile and there aren't many fecal born parasites in first world countries, so it actually isn't all that dangerous. Covering our mouths when we cough is probably more of an indicator of handwashing needs, but that's not considered as big a deal. I think I would let it go, but I'm pretty laize faire about germs. I really think the ick factor is more cultural than anything serious to worry about in this case. Hope that puts your mind to rest.
Thats about how I feel as well.

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#20 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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Sorry, I just have to say it. I'm American and living in the UK. I nearly passed out when I moved here and saw women plunking their newborns on dirty floors and being really laissez-faire about germs. As far as I know the toys at playgroups are never washed. No idea about handwashing- I've never thought about it. I know I must seem like a total freak here, but I'm about to have #2 and I DON'T want people coming over to see her and not washing hands. I guess the feeling here is that germs are good for your immune system. Personally, I'm just tired of being sick all the time. Honestly, I don't want my kid playing with your kid if they have pink eye, a fever or even are at the start of a cold. Why isn't it considered a courtesy to let someone know ahead of time and not to expose the whole family to the latest virus?

My in-laws are flithy and my MIL kept trying to put her finger in DD's mouth (she thought it was cute to have a newborn suck on her manky finger) when we were out and around Chicago, after riding the public transport. I DID tell her to wash her hands and I got an insolent teenager reaction, but she did it.

Maggie, American expat, mother to DD1 5/27/2007 and DD2 2/15/2010
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#21 of 21 Old 01-29-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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There's an ick issue there, but really I don't think a baby is going to get sick due to that. You can ask everyone to use hand sanitizer, but I wonder if that isn't less healthy than a few germs. And I do think germs help build the immune system.
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